Editor’s Note: We usually follow a strict editorial line, of freedom of speech. The recent needless controversy regarding Lionel Shriver’s speech on Cultural Appropriation is phenomenal, and we at Bombs and Dollars believe therefore that it is our duty to repost and share the speech for everyone to read and share. (Source:The Telegraph, Photo Courtesy: Google Creative Commons.)
I hate to disappoint you folks, but unless we stretch the topic to breaking point this address will not be about “community and belonging.”
In fact, you have to hand it to this festival’s organizers: inviting a renowned iconoclast to speak about “community and belonging” is like expecting a great white shark to balance a beach ball on its nose.
The topic I had submitted instead was “Fiction and Identity Politics,” which may sound on its face equally dreary.
But I’m afraid the bramble of thorny issues that cluster around “Identity Politics” has got all too interesting, particularly for people pursuing the occupation I share with many gathered in this hall: fiction writing.
Taken to their logical conclusion, ideologies recently come into vogue challenge our right to write fiction at all. Meanwhile, the kind of fiction we are “allowed” to write is in danger of becoming so hedged, so circumscribed, so tippy-toe, that we’d indeed be better off not writing the anodyne drivel to begin with.
Let’s start with a tempest-in-a-teacup at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.